We have just learnt of an accident that occurred in France in April in which three men survived a truck mounted lift accident.
The accident occurred in Mougerre in the extreme South West of France on April 16th of this year. The lift, a 52 metre Pagliero owned by Locnacelle-Isle de France/ part of the Lorlev crane and access rental group, was working on the rewiring of overhead cables for DEF. The men were all employed by subcontractor Transel - Stéphane Daudus, 28, Stéphane André, 24, and Ali Saidi, 47.
The local police have said that the lift tipped after the ground gave way under the trucks wheels. We assume that they meant the outriggers. The unit was set up on the inside of the EDF centre de Salines - close to the perimeter fence. We do not know if the outriggers on the side that the lift tipped were fully extended or not.
If they were then they clearly punched deep into the ground. Alternatively it is possible that they were not extended on that side – given that the unit was up against the fence. If so then the cause of the accident would clearly have been down to the operator slewing over the retracted outriggers, although in this machine we understand that the beam extension is monitored and the data input then limits the slew range.
The men were working at a height of around 15 metres when reports say that the lift started to tip very slowly and then gathered speed as it went over – this suggest that outrigger beams were not extended. The three section jib buckled as it hit the ground and the cage was largely destroyed.
The men in the platform were wearing harnesses and lanyards which may well have saved them? Although as there was probably little or no catapult effect on this accident they may have not helped?
The men were taken to hospital suffering from serious injuries, none of which were life threatening.
There are clearly some important lessons to be learnt from this accident and we have contacted the company in a bid to learn more. In the meantime many thanks to the reader who sent it in.
Since publicaiton we have been informed that the outriggers were fully set on both sides and that at least the machines pads had been used. So the cause of this accident would seem to be down to soft ground and insufficient spreading of the load or the presence of an underground void.